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Westboro Baptist Church Files Brief to Intervene in Challenge to Kansas Gay Marriage Ban

Westboro

Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church has filed a brief seeking to intervene in the challenge to the state's gay marriage ban, the Washington Blade reports:

In a 22-page legal brief filed Sunday loaded with references to biblical Scripture and condemnation of homosexuality, the Church seeks to take part in a lawsuit pending before the U.S. District Court for the Kansas, saying same-sex marriage “is utterly contrary to Bible doctrine.”

“Same-sex marriage will destroy Kansas,” the brief states. “If this Court requires Kansas officials to treat what God has called abominable as something to be respected, revered, and blessed with the seal-of-approval of the government, that will cross a final line with God. The harm that will befall this state, when the condign destructive wrath of God pours out on Kansans is the ultimate harm to the health, welfare and safety of the people.” [...]

Although the brief doesn’t contain the same anti-gay slurs that have made the church infamous, the filing does envision calamity if same-sex marriage is legalized in Kansas based on the biblical scripture. Stories cited by the church include the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah, ancient cities thought to have incurred God’s wrath for allowing homosexuality, and God’s destruction of civilization worldwide by Noah’s flood.

Don't expect the court to accept the church's request to intervene. A similar, biblically-laced brief by a straight couple last week seeking to intervene on the grounds that gay marriage in Kansas would lead to a theft of their own marriage was tossed out by a federal judge for lack of legal standing in the case. 

Read the brief below via Equality Case Files:

Kansas remains the only state in the Tenth Circuit without marriage equality.


Macedonian LGBT Activists Ambushed in Coordinated Attack

DamarMembers of the LGBT Association of Macedonia were ambushed by 30 masked attackers while celebrating their organizations second anniversary last week. According to police reports, the attackers threw rocks, bottles, and other debris at the queer activists in the Damar cafe located in the Old Bazaar quarter of the country’s capital Skopje.

Uranija Pirovska, head of the Macedonian branch of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, said that this was the country’s sixth, anti-gay organized attack in two years. Initial reports of the attack described it as an act of random violence, a characterization that the HCHR claims is the local media’s effort to downplay the hate crime.

“We ask the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the competent institutions how long will they continue to underrate the violence which is a part of the every-day life of the LGBT people?” the HCHR wrote in a statement. “How long will we continue to pretend that these people do not exist, that they do not face real threats to their life and body every day and that there is no need of special legal protection and legal treatment for them?”

Macedonian president Gjorge Ivanov has insisted that LGBT discrimination and intolerance does not exist within Macedonia, despite the uptick in queer-targeted violence. Earlier this year conservative members of Macedonia’s VMRO-DPMNE party expressed their interest in introducing legislation that would ban same-sex marriage throughout the country, despite failed attempts at similar legislation in the past.

[photo via foursquare]


Idaho State Senator Steve Vick Proposes Banning All Marriage Licenses Now That Gays Can Marry - LISTEN

Following the 9th Circuit’s decision striking down Idaho’s constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, Idaho state Senator Steve Vick (R) is proposing a solution to what he sees is a gross governmental overreach, Right Wing Watch reports

Vick“If we’re not allowed to determine the standards for a marriage license, then maybe we should just not issue them.”  he explained to WorldNetDaily. “Another potential avenue that I’m exploring is just eliminating marriage licenses in Idaho.”

Vick went on to elaborate on his relatively extreme proposition, saying while he was only in the early stages of discussing it, he had found much interest at a number of local town halls.

Though Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced that he will comply with the 9th Circuit’s ruling earlier this month, he has made a point of stating that his office remains dedicated to the idea of traditional marriage. He has also filed a petitionn for the full 9th Circuit to re-hear the case challenging the state's gay marriage ban. 

“I continue to believe that the federal courts are mistaken in abandoning the sanctity of traditional marriage and in undermining the will of Idaho voters and each state’s right to define marriage,” he said in a statement. “We have done all we can through the courts for now to defend traditional marriage in Idaho.”

Sen. Vick echoed the Governor’s sentiment, but admitted that “these rulings will probably stand,” referring to the court’s refusal to hear appeals from other states in which judges dismissed constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions.

Listen to a clip of Idaho state senator Steve Vick’s interview with WorldNetDaily AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Continue reading "Idaho State Senator Steve Vick Proposes Banning All Marriage Licenses Now That Gays Can Marry - LISTEN" »


Eric Holder Announces Federal Government Will Recognize Gay Marriages in Six More States

Holder

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the federal government will recognize same-sex married couples in six additional states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Last week, Holder made a similar announcement regarding federal recognition of same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado. 

Via press release:

The Attorney General’s announcement means couples married in these states will now qualify for a range of federal benefits, including those administered by the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs.

“With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving of full equality for all Americans,” the Attorney General said. “We are acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-sex married couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law.”

In addition, the Attorney General also announced that the Department of Justice has determined it can legally recognize marriages performed in Indiana and Wisconsin this past June. These marriages were performed immediately after federal district courts ruled that those states’ bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, but subsequent developments created confusion about the status of those marriages. Based on the Attorney General’s announcement, however, those couples married during that period will now have their unions recognized by the federal government.


Federal Judge Fast-tracks Challenge to South Carolina's Gay Marriage Ban, Could Rule By Nov. 3

South carolinaA summary judgement challenge to South Carolina's gay marriage ban filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of two Charleston women could be decided early next month after a federal judge denied South Carolina's request for extra time to file responses, The Post and Courier reports:

During a conversation in court Friday with attorneys on both sides, Gergel denied a verbal request from a state Attorney General lawyer to extend by three days a Nov. 3 deadline to file responses to the couple's injunction request.

"The plaintiff in this case has asserted irreparable injury" due to being denied a marriage license, Gergel said.

"They are entitled to an expeditious review," he added.

Beth Littrell, Senior Attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office based in Atlanta, said:

There is no reason why South Carolinians should be denied the freedom to marry one more day. The Fourth Circuit’s decision is binding on South Carolina and Governor Haley and Attorney General Wilson should not be allowed to continue to ignore the rule of law. There really is only one legal and logical result--we’re urging the court to allow same-sex couples in South Carolina to marry without any further delay.

A separate lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage was filed earlier this week. 

South Carolina remains the only state under the Fourth Circuit's jurisdiction to not have marriage equality. 


Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Files Motion to Keep Stay on Pro-Marriage Equality Ruling

Back in August, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle became the first federal judge to strike down Florida's gay marriage ban when he ordered the state to issue a new death certificate for Carol Goldwasser, naming Arlene Goldberg (her partner for 47 years) as her wife. Hinkle, however, issued a stay covering all aspects of the federal case except Goldwasser's death certificate until the Supreme Court resolved the marriage cases before it.

Pam bondiWith the Supreme Court declining to take up any of the cases earlier this month, the ACLU proceeded to ask Hinkle to lift his stay on the ruling, but Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has now filed a motion asking the stay remain in place until the case is heard by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Miami Herald reports:

“This Court has already entered a limited stay after recognizing the ‘substantial public interest in stable marriage laws,’ and it should continue the stay until the federal appeals court can review the decision,” Bondi wrote to Hinkle. “On balance, it is in the public’s best interest to wait for an appellate decision before implementing an order of this significance.”

The paper adds:

Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, responded: “This is how an Attorney General uses the law to serve an ideology and partisan politics, rather than justice.”

If Hinkle lifts the stay, it is likely he would give Bondi another week to file an appeal to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta before allowing couples to marry, Simon said.

“It’s disappointing that Attorney General Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott have chosen to continue to swim against the tide of inevitable history and block Florida families from having the protections that come with being married,” said Daniel Tilley, the ACLU of Florida’s LGBT rights staff attorney.
 
Read the full motion below via Equality Case Files.

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